Authors : Esther Plomp, Nicolas Dintzner, Marta Teperek, Alastair Dunning
Research data management (RDM) is increasingly important in scholarship. Many researchers are, however, unaware of the benefits of good RDM and unsure about the practical steps they can take to improve their RDM practices. Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) addresses this cultural barrier by appointing Data Stewards at every faculty.
By providing expert advice and increasing awareness, the Data Stewardship project focuses on incremental improvements in current data and software management and sharing practices.
This cultural change is accelerated by the Data Champions who share best practices in data management with their peers. The Data Stewards and Data Champions build a community that allows a discipline-specific approach to RDM. Nevertheless, cultural change also requires appropriate rewards and incentives.
While local initiatives are important, and we discuss several examples in this paper, systemic changes to the academic rewards system are needed. This will require collaborative efforts of a broad coalition of stakeholders and we will mention several such initiatives.
This article demonstrates that community building is essential in changing the code and data management culture at TU Delft.